The Drewry Multipurpose Time Charter Index increased to USD6,289 per day in December 2020, representing a rise of 3.5 percent compared to the previous month.

Drewry said that although rates rose in all sectors, there was some disparity between the larger, heavy lift capable tonnage and the smaller vessels. The larger vessels benefitted from the container lines tapping into the multipurpose sector to cover short-term tightness, whereas the smaller, more short-sea orientated vessels saw a weakening of demand.

“The market in most sectors has lost momentum over the end of the year and we expect it to take a little time before it regains,” Drewry added. “However, with reports already coming in that Chinese New Year might not be the full stop it usually is, there is a good level of expectation for the short-term rate forecast.”

The analyst expects the index to rise a further 1.4 percent in January 2021 to reach USD6,375 per day.